New Books Network

Gerry Milligan’s Moral Combat: Women, Gender and War in Italian Renaissance Literature (University of Toronto Press, 2018) takes as its subject the woman warrior in...

Gerry Milligan’s Moral Combat: Women, Gender and War in Italian Renaissance Literature (University of Toronto Press, 2018) takes as its subject the woman warrior in early modern Italy as she was and as she was represented across varied types of texts, both literary and historical. What emerges is a discursive construction of the role gender played in the concept of warfare during this time period. How are women depicted in relation to warfare? Are they non-combatant innocents protected by male warriors? If this is not (only) the case, how does the representation of the woman warrior illuminate men and masculinity in the Italian Renaissance? How are gender roles rewritten, challenged, and reaffirmed in the texts under consideration? How do the figures of the virago and the woman warrior resonate with 21st century gender norms? These are some of Milligan’s questions, as well as some of the topics, we consider in this podcast.


Ellen Nerenberg is a founding editor of g/s/i-gender/sexuality/Italy and reviews editor of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies. Recent scholarly essays focus on serial television in Italy, the UK, and North America; masculinities in Italian cinema and media studies; and student filmmakers. Her current book project is La nazione Winx: coltivare la future consumista/Winx Nation: Grooming the Future Female Consumer, a collaboration with Nicoletta Marini-Maio (forthcoming, Rubbettino Editore, 2020). She is President of the American Association for Italian Studies.